Teaching Volume on Modernist Women’s Writing in English in Development on the Commons

We are excited to announce that the volume “Teaching Modernist Women’s Writing in English,” edited by Janine Utell, is being developed on a site in MLA Commons. Visit the site to find the call for essay proposals, a detailed description of the project, and a growing repository of pedagogical and scholarly resources.

Utell hopes that the site will “build not only an audience but a network of teacher-scholars with similar interests who can use the opportunity of working on this book in this space as a way to grow relationships with each other….” We look forward to your participation in helping make this site an active venue for creating this volume, fostering community ties, and exchanging ideas, resources, and news about the subject of modernist women’s writing in English.

If you are interested in the development of book projects on MLA Commons, please click here for more information.

Call for Essay Proposals for Volume on Teaching Modernist Women’s Writing in English

Essay proposals are invited for a volume entitled Teaching Modernist Women’s Writing in English, to appear in the Options for Teaching series published by the Modern Language Association. The purpose of the volume is to meet the needs of instructors seeking pedagogical strategies for teaching modernist women’s writing in English and the ways in which women were vital creators and participants in the works and networks of modernism. The volume aims to capture the multiplicity of artistic, political, and social networks of which women writers were a part, crossing gender, class, and national boundaries, and to share ways to teach these connections and concepts from a wide range of contributors who work from different critical orientations and in different types of institutions and classroom settings. The volume will include material relevant for specialists and generalists who are teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as in alternative classroom and institutional situations. The teaching resources to be shared will include current scholarship, readings, and digital tools.

Essays responding to four general areas through the lens of pedagogical theory and practice are sought: teaching modernism or modernist studies, thematic concerns, genre or form, and theoretical or methodological approaches. Contributions might cover topics related to issues and definitions in modernist studies, particularly as relevant to the study of women writers. These essays might focus on contexts and conceptual questions important to modernism and highlight the importance of women writers therein. Some essays might take up the teaching of a specific theme (e.g., trauma, colonialism, globalization, race, class, sexuality) or topic (e.g., suffrage, war, empire, socialism, communism, fascism, the workplace, little magazines, the literary marketplace). Other essays might look at the ways women writers used particular forms and genres (fiction, documentary, journalism, life writing, poetry, pamphlets or manifestos, “the middlebrow,” genre fiction, working-class writing, film, drama); these might consider teaching the tension between tradition and the avant-garde or the noteworthy contributions that women made to the avant-garde. Finally, essays might describe and exemplify teaching informed by particular critical or methodological approaches, such as theoretical perspectives (postcolonial studies, queer studies, narrative theory), interdisciplinary work (art, music, dance, science, technology) or intertextuality, the digital humanities, and the teaching of writing or multimodal pedagogy. A balance is sought among writers from the United States and the United Kingdom, as well as writers working in English from other regions of the world (e.g., the Caribbean, India).

Proposals should mention and define specific terms, concepts, techniques, and classroom contexts as appropriate. They should describe the intended topic, particularly the pedagogical approach taken to teaching modernist women’s writing, including methodology, evidence, theoretical or critical framework, and significance for those teaching in the field. The proposal should indicate the value of the intended topic to a broad range of instructors and should maintain a clear focus on teaching. Please note that any quotations from student papers will require written permission from the students.

Proposals of 500 words (for potential completed essays of 3,000–3,500 words) should be sent to Janine Utell ( by 1 December 2015.

Call for Essay Proposals for Volume on Teaching the Harlem Renaissance

Proposals are invited for a volume in the MLA’s Options for Teaching series entitled Teaching the Harlem Renaissance, edited by Venetria K. Patton. The volume aims to bring together original essays exploring the diversity of debates and discussions about the period as well as novel pedagogical strategies. It will include essays representing both innovative and traditional approaches from contributors who participate in different fields, institutions, and classroom contexts. It will be a resource for veteran and novice instructors teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and across a variety of disciplinary locations. In addition to the essays, a resource section on current scholarship and reference material will be included.

Proposed essays should fit under one of these broad headings: “Background for Teaching the Harlem Renaissance”; “Critical Concerns in Teaching the Harlem Renaissance”; and “Authors, Works, and Genres.” The first section will explore historical contexts and debates in the field and might include essays addressing nomenclature, modernism, gender and sexuality, the New Woman, African American periodicals and newspapers, white patronage, and transnationalism. The second section will include essays regarding classroom contexts such as disciplinary location, institution, and course level, as well as essays presenting particular approaches and methodologies. Potential topics might include but are not limited to teaching the Harlem Renaissance with digital humanities, blues and jazz, and visual art; a variety of theoretical approaches are welcome. Essays in the third section, addressing specific authors, works, and genres, should consider well-known figures of the period as well as lesser-known figures and texts. Possible authors to consider include but are not limited to Jessie Redmon Fauset, Angelina Weld Grimké, Langston Hughes, Helene Johnson, Nella Larsen, Claude McKay, Richard Bruce Nugent, and Willis Richardson, among others. As part of the Options for Teaching series, every essay should make explicit how it will apply to the needs of teachers and students.

If you are interested in contributing an essay of 3,000–3,500 words, please send an abstract of 350–500 words to Venetria K. Patton, Purdue University (, by 1 August 2015.

Please note that any quotations from student papers will require written permission from the students.